1997 – Foundation for Research in Ophthalmology (FRO), Jules Gonin University Eye Hospital/ “Asile des Aveugles”

In 1997 it was decided to establish a foundation aimed at the promotion of a research faculty within the Jules Gonin University Eye Hospital / “Asile des Aveugles” in Lausanne, this for two main reasons:

2005 – Partnership FRO / IRO (Institute for Research in Ophthalmology)

The IRO was established in 1989 in Sion.

  • Recognition of the University Department of Ophthalmology in Vaud as center of excellence in vision sciences.
  • Scarcity of public funding, insufficient to finance research in ophthalmology.

In order to coordinate research activities of the two sites, in 2000 IRO signed a convention with the University ofLausanne, bringing it under the academic and scientific responsibility of the University Department of Ophthalmology of the University of Lausanne.

In 2005, the FRO statutes were amended to enable the support of projects at both the Jules Gonin faculty and IRO, in line with the principles of collaboration between the two research centers.

2007 – Open Eyes, Foundation for Research in Ophthalmology

In 2007, the Foundation for Research in Ophthalmology (FRO) became Open Eyes, Foundation for Research in Ophthalmology. The new name is part of the commitment to:

  • promote and support the development of the scientific pole Lausanne / Sion through national and international recognition.
  • cultivate links with other partners – both public and private – in the context of research projects, in particular with the EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne).

2018 – Swiss astronaut Claude Nicollier becomes sponsor

Claude Nicollier, the first Swiss astronaut to go into space, becomes the sponsor of Open Eyes. On November 14, he led a conference “The Magic of Vision” for the benefit of research in ophthalmology, with Prof. Thomas J. Wolfensberger, medical director of Jules-Gonin Eye Hospital.

2020 – Jean-Denis Briod becomes President

Jean-Denis Briod succeeds Mr François Chaudet as President of Open Eyes.